Sheffield University digging up the past for 50 years

A celebration of 50 years of archaeology at Sheffield University is to be held on Saturday, May 24, with the public invited to tours of the department on West Street.

There will also be talks and practical demonstrations from 1.30pm until 4.30pm, followed by a public lecture on the influence of Sheffield on the recent advances in British archaeology by Professor Colin Renfrew in St George’s Church from 5pm.

The university’s first academic appointment in the field came in 1963, when Warwick Bray became lecturer in European prehistory.

Since then academics have carried out major research projects, locating early humans in South Africa and in Pakistan, explored the origins of human art in the caves of southern Spain and north Nottinghamshire, and traced the origins and impact of agriculture by examining the bodies of Neolithic Czechs and seeds accidentally burned by Bronze Age Greeks.

The department and its students have also worked continuously over the years with the people of Sheffield to highlight the history of their city, as well as leading the way in other fields.

People wanting to attend the events should email to register their interest.